17 May 2005 Events in Iraq
Baghdad. Group linked to al-Zarqawi threatens Sunnis who participate in the drafting of the Constitution. They will be considered "infidels".
Baghdad. Shi'tes and Kurds in Parliament contested the chairmanship of the committee charged with drafting the Constitution.
Washington. George Galloway testifies before Congressional committee on his alleged role in the Oil for Food scandal. The British MP was quoted as saying to Senators Coleman and Levin, This investigation is the mother of all smokescreens.
Ft. Hood. Sabrina Harman was found guilty of prisoner mistreatment at Abu Ghraib prison.
23:38 Washington. The US says it will cooperate with Italy to release Clementina Cantoni from her Afghani captors [What! They are not going to put a bullet in her head if they set her free? Sweet! What nice guys!]
22:40 Washington. The Pentagon denies accusations over Koran flushing. Pentagon denies the accusations by Abdul Ramin, a 40 year-old ex-Camp X-Ray detainee, that US prison guards and interrogators regularly desecrated the Koran.
21:15 Rome. Voice recording of kidnapped aid worker. Kidnappers release a voice recording of Clementina Cantoni.
19:58 Baghdad. Deputy Premier Ahmed Chalabi was named chairman of the newly-created Energy Council, which will have responsibity for the management and protection of Iraqi energy resources. The nomination of Chelabi will give him a great deal of influence over the approval of foreign investment.
18:21. Bangor. An Alitalia flight is forced to land in Bangor due to the presence of a "suspect" passenger. The crew was notified as the plane was in Canadian airspace. Canadian jets scrambled to escort the jet into US airspace, where the flight was escorted by US military jets to Bangor. An Algerian national was pulled off the flight. [Of course, an Algerian national would have been in possession of a visa, so it would be nice if the US Embassy in Algiers had a copy of the so-called no-fly list so it wouldn't grant visas (cost: $100) to these people in the first place. But it's fun and games for the HS boys, who get their jollies this way.--Nur]
18:18 Baghdad. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi asserted that his country does not intend to settle its differences with the United States in Iraq. Our cooperation with Iraq is not linked to our relations with the United States and we would like to reaffirm the historic ties between our two countries. The assistance which we are able to give serves the regional interests of the Islamic Rebpubic. We are currently making the maximum effort to control our common borders and we have arrested several people attempting to smuggle weapons into Iraq.
17:44 Paris. The porousness of the Syrian frontier should be discussed between Baghdad and Damascus, says French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattéi. The ministry indirectly chastized Condoleezza Rice for going beyond her role in publicly blaming Damascus for instabilty in Iraq. If concern is to be expressed, it should be transmitted directly to the authorities concerned. It will then be up to the Syrians to take appropriate measures.
17:34 Washington. The suprise visit of Condoleezza Rice to Iraq over the weekend was meant to demonstrate US determination to stabilize Iraq in spite of daily insurrectional violence. In less than 12 hours the US Secretary of State held a half-dozen meetings. Her meeting with Prime Minister Jafaari was to shore him up after criticism in the US press for not acting aggressively enough against the insurgents. Rice also insisted on meeting the August 15 deadline for completion of the draft of the Constitution despite delays. The ultra-secrecy surrounding her arrival was indicative of the long road ahead facing the United States in Iraq.
16:36 Ankara. Six Turkish troops and two Kurdish rebels die in clashes. Four Turkish soldiers were killed by an anti-personnel mine on Mt. Gabar in southeast Turkey laid by PKK guerrillas. Two other Turkish soldiers and two Kurdish fighers wre killed in an exchange of fire on Mt. Gabar.
13:18 Baghdad. Shi'te and Sunni clerics assassinated. A Shi'ite cleric was assassinated today in the capital while the bodies of two Sunni clerics kidnapped on Sunday were recovered.
12:08 Tikrit. US soldier dies. A US soldier was killed and another wounded by a roadside bomb.
11:51 Doha. Al Jazeerah reports that two bombs went off in a Baghdad market killing 14.
11:00 Baghdad. Anti-Corruption Commission member assassinated. Alaa Eddine Wazir al-Obeidi was assassinated in south Baghdad. Unknown gunmen opened fire on his car.
10:02 Moussayib. Four Iraqi soldiers killed in shootout with rebels who had taken control of a power station south of the capital.
09:25 Uzbekistan: Izvestia reports that 745 civilians were killed by government troops.
08:47 Kabul. Responsibility claimed in kidnapping of Italian aid worker. The kidnappers of Clementina Cantoni have demanded the release of prisoners in exchange for the hostage. A criminal gang led by Tela Mohammed who was recently arrested by the police, has contacted us to claim credit for the kidnapping of the Italian woman, says Abdul Jamil of the Kabul police investigation squad. The group has proposed an exchange of the hostage for its leaders Tela Mohammed and Omara Khan and other gang members in jail.